When I first started this blog back in 2013, I had no idea about food photography.
I purchased an entry-level DSLR camera (read: the cheapest one on the market) but used to shoot exclusively in automatic. I had no idea about styling, and my early shots were blurred, washed out, awkwardly styled and did nothing to compliment the food which I was making – in fact if anything, they were distracting from it.
(L) A banana smoothie shot from 2013 – looking quite beige and unappealing. (R) A more recent shot of a smoothie taken with more attractive lighting, and at a more complimentary angle.
I loved those dark, moody styles of photography that I felt really evoked a certain type of mood, but I had no idea how to create them. I used to spend hours Googling “how do I take dark-looking photos of food with lots of shadow” and similar, abstract questions that funnily enough, Google was unable to answer for me. Instead, I tried to just lower the exposure, which never quite worked.
A failed attempt at “dark-looking photography with lots of shadows”.
I realised pretty early on I would need to learn to shoot in manual, and managed to find enough information on the internet (unlike my “dark, shadowy” searches, there is a wealth of information online about “how to shoot in manual on a DSLR”).
It was shortly after this that I came across a four week online short course which helped hone those still-fresh manual skills, and taught me a few other key fundamentals. From here, I continued to practice, experiment – and of course self teach via the internet – with the help of some more succinct queries!
More recent examples of “moody” photography – carefully composed placement and manipulated light resulted in much better images.
Over these years, I felt I spent so much time googling, or frustratingly taking the same photo over and over again, trying to capture motion, perfect the composition a little more, or get the lighting just right. I longed for the information that I needed to be in the one place – everything from shooting in manual, to editing, through to how to get that gorgeous moody lighting that I loved.
I realised after a while that I had compiled a lot of information over the years, and while it was a little late to help me when I was starting out, the emails and comments I was receiving on To Her Core and through social media indicated to me tat this information would be really useful for other people.
And thus, the Food Photography and Styling Guides was born!
Well, the idea at least. To get them to where they are now was over 8 months of fun, tedious, frustrating and rewarding work. There is still a few minor tweaks that need to be finished off, but next month they will be available to the public,which I am incredibly excited about!
The Guides are set up to teach you everything you need to know about Food Photography and Styling, from how to shoot in manual through the picking your own style and composing your shots. There is also a whole module on how to edit images – including how to edit images taken on your phone for those times you don’t have your DSLR with you.
The Guides are structured in a logical manner, using basic terms, images, diagrams and videos to easily explain and demonstrate each concept. They were designed with the intention of being informative but also easy to follow and understand. There are (optional) practical exercises at the end of each module to help you put these skills into practice – we learn best by doing, so these exercises are aimed to further demonstrate to you how to execute that function or technique which you have just been taught.
If you are a food blogger, Instagrammer or work in the food industry, and are looking to improve your food photography skills, these Guides may be the opportunity you are looking for.
I will be releasing a little content including some teaser videos and more information about the Guides as we draw closer to the release date, so if you are interested, make sure to head over to the site and add your name to the mailing list – you’ll also get an exclusive time-sensitive offer which will only be offered to those on the list.